Dubai: A sporty lifestyle suits Al Boom Marine just fine. The distributor and retailer of lifestyle brands such as Oakley and RipCurl, has added another to its basket.
It has won the distribution rights for New Era, an apparel brand that answers a sporty description and with quite a legacy to boot. The deal will set into motion from January 1 next year.
“While ABM will be following the traditional distribution agreement in ensuring the New Era caps and apparel lines are distributed and promoted across the channels, we will also be opening standalone Era stores across the GCC and Lebanon,” said Steven Holbrook, CEO of AlBoom Marine.
Al Boom Marine also operates the Beyond the Beach network of stores. “Because of the strength of the concept, it is a common misconception that these are the only retail stores operated by ABM,” said Holbrook. “As it is, we already operate mono-brand formats for Oakley, Rip Curl, Canterbury and Tommy Bahama.
“Adding New Era is, therefore, a very natural progression to what we are already doing. Additionally, New Era is a perfect fit for both our ‘Beyond the Beach’ and the new ‘Beyond the Street’ concepts, so it will certainly become a significant contributor to our retail business going forward.”
It currently operates 40 stores across the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman with 10 new ones planned to open before the year end. Agreements have already been signed to launch in Qatar next year, which should also see its first stores open in Saudi Arabia. “It is a core strategy for ABM to significantly grow our retail base across the GCC in the coming years,” said Holbrook.
At the broader level, “One of the major tools to spearhead growth will be the expansion of our Beyond the Street concept recently launched in Mercato Mall,” the CEO said. “This concept focuses on footwear, eyewear, headwear and other accessories making it the perfect retail concept for GCC expansion. This being the case, we also intend to further roll out Oakley, Rip Curl and Tommy Bahama stores across the GCC, with leases already being signed and in place.
“In addition, we are in discussions with several other brands in wider categories such as F&B, children’s, men’s and ladies fashion.”